Username:    Password:
Thanks for stopping by...
Expresses Strength and Depth












Traditional and Appealing Barossa Rose




































Odds & Sods
Fishing Lakes Entrance
Friday, 10th December, 2004  - Ben Parker

I have been fishing the Gippsland Lakes estuary system ever since I could hold a fishing rod. Sadly, the system deteriorated badly through the late eighties and nineties. The diversity of catch has greatly decreased, there are more days of little to no fish and the seaweed is taking over.

Commercial netting is still allowed in the lake system. This seems hard to justify when there are so little fish and tourism is the region's major income. Regular polluting from farm run-off often sees mass deaths as well. Although scenic, this is not a healthy system.

To the fisherman, this means harder work getting a catch. Often the system seems to close up shop and days can go by with nothing but a few small snapper. I decided that this would not do and set about testing new techniques to locate fish.

I have found some staples to be reasonably available to the clever and patient fisherman. In this series of articles I will describe to what I have learned in the hope you can do as well.


Part 1 - The Leatherjacket

My fall back position on a bad day fishing is the much maligned leatherjacket. Leatherjackets love structures so are abundant around jetties and rock walls off which they feed. They aren't a powerful swimmer so will avoid areas of high current. I have found a submerged rock wall that extends out into one of the lakes. One side is banked with sand while the other drops off very deep; perfect protection from current for the leatherjacket while providing a good food source.

Leatherjacket have a strong jaw and very sharp teeth which are designed to crunch barnacles and shells. They certainly give a hook shank a grinding when caught. As such only ever use long shank hooks; a size 8 to 10 is good.

Like many opportunistic feeders, they are quite happy to suck in a pippie or prawn. Small strips of squid are also good. I like to stick to bait that I can gather locally so tend toward shrimp netted in the weed and mussels from the jetties.

The key to catching leatherjacket is detecting the first movement of the bait. The bite of the leatherjacket is very subtle. This is not an aggressive fish attacking a live bait. Leatherjackets will mosey up to the bait and suck it in then move off. It is important that you detect this first bait movement or your hook will be inhaled and the fish will bite you off. This of course can be avoided by heavier line but to me this removes the challenge and art of fishing; there must be a reasonable chance that, with the resources at his disposal, the fish can win. So challenge yourself to detect that first movement of the bait and stick with light line.

Once hooked, leatherjackets don't really put up a struggle. They don't have the physical attributes needed to turn sideways and thrust away from the pull of the line. This is one of the reasons why they are not generally targeted. Also, some find them a little ugly and the skin a little off-putting. I think they're beautiful and the skin makes them easy to prepare for the pan.

Do not behead the fish. I prefer fish to be served whole whenever possible. With this variety though there is some wonderful flesh in the cheek cavity; possibly the best flesh. Seeing the little headless bodies at the fish markets breaks my heart.

As with most fish, handling leatherjacket in the kitchen is simple. I pan fry in butter. The key is how you handle them before they get to the kitchen.

As the name suggests the skin is reminiscent of leather and must be peeled off the fish. I do a vertical slit right at the tail and work a finger under the skin. From here it is a relatively easy job to rip the skin off. Some people chop off the spike but I don't see the point. Slit the gut and remove the gizzards. The fish is now ready for the pan.

Toss some butter in the warmed pan and wait for it to sizzle. I use a moderate pan but this will depend on the size of the fish. The flesh is white and delicate and it is important not over cook. Just slightly browned on either side should be plenty. If the flesh separates you are over cooking and will lead to toughening of the meat; if its chewy then you've over overdone it. Make a note for next time. Serve with a sqeeze of lemon or a drizzle of top vinegar onto the plate, not directly on the fish.

If there are Leatherjacket around where you fish don't be shy about targeting them. Be proud, this is a worthy animal.

Next: Salmon in the surf and the return of the smoker…

2
0
1
2
2
0
1
1
2
0
1
0
2
0
0
9
2
0
0
8
2
0
0
7
2
0
0
6
2
0
0
5
2
0
0
4
ODDS & SODS ARCHIVE 2012
Road Kill Across Australia

Friday, 19th October, 2012

Using Up That Wine Surplus

Monday, 9th January, 2011

ODDS & SODS ARCHIVE 2011
Scientific Results Way Out on the Curve

Saturday, 29th January, 2011

"Effing Hell" is Coming to a Bottle Shop Near You!

Friday, 14th January, 2011

ODDS & SODS ARCHIVE 2010
Early Worries About Smoke Taint

Monday, 29th November, 2010

A Vintage Veuve or how about a Jugiar

Wednesday, 24th November, 2010

A Whet Whistle Catches the Fishes

Monday, 4th January, 2009

Oh What a Lovely Bubble

Saturday, 2nd January, 2009

ODDS & SODS ARCHIVE 2009
The Critics Defend Their Ratings

Monday, 5th October, 2009

More Great Times for the Foodies

Friday, 2nd October, 2009

A Great Time for the Foodies

Saturday, 12th September, 2009

Will it be Lawyers over the Dining Room Table?

Saturday, 1st August, 2009

A Small Tribute to Frank Devine - Marketing and Managerialism

Sunday, 5th July, 2009

Tall Geological Tales, Uranium and Other Things

Thursday, 28th May, 2009

Tall Geological Tales, Uranium and Other Things

Thursday, 28th May, 2009

The ACCC Gets It Wrong on Groceries

Friday, 24th April, 2009

One Makes Cars the Other Wine - The Result is the Same

Sunday, 19th April, 2009

ODDS & SODS ARCHIVE 2008
Prime Red Coonawarra Soil at Risk

Monday, 2nd December, 2008

ACCC Attacks the Hero

Tuesday, 12th August, 2008

Paris Has All the Fun

Monday, 10th March, 2008

ODDS & SODS ARCHIVE 2007
Let Anarchy Rule the Roads

Monday, 17th September, 2007

When Cruel Death Appears

Wednesday, 15th August, 2007

What He Drank Last Night

Tuesday, 31st July, 2007

The Name We Dare Not Mention

Tuesday, 24th July, 2007

Pine Creek and Ah Toy

Sunday, 1st July, 2007

Opinion Polls and the Dressed Weight of a Particular Living Ox

Wednesday, 23rd May, 2007

Brushing Your Teeth with a Deadly Glycol

Wednesday, 23rd May, 2007

A Clutch of Double Entendres

Sunday, 29th April, 2007

A Picture of Global Warming?

Friday, 2nd March, 2007

Memories of Otis

Tuesday, 20th February, 2007

Grog For Your Dog

Friday, 26th January, 2007

Chunky Joins the Telegraph Haters

Wednesday, 17th January, 2006

ODDS & SODS ARCHIVE 2006
The Rarely Seen Titan Arum

Sunday, 12th November, 2006

The Flavours of Beer

Wednesday, 8th November, 2006

Woof, Woof to the Rescue of the Little Penguins

Wednesday, 1st November, 2006

Methadone Fails 97% Of Drug Addicts And Flu Vaccines Don't Help Much

Sunday, 29th October, 2006

American Fatties Cause Global Warming - The Fat Report No. 2

Sunday, 29th October, 2006

Relations Between Australia and United States Threatened

Tuesday, 24th October, 2006

The Fat Report - a Round Up of Obesity News

Monday, 23rd October, 2006

Newman's Horse Radish

Saturday, 2nd September, 2006

Woolworths Cooks up a Treat

Monday, 21st August, 2006

Giving the Mob a Helping Hand

Wednesday, 19th July, 2006

A Soccer Setback for Satellite Sales

Monday, 17th July, 2006

Worse than Pubs With No Beer – Restaurants Without Wine!

Tuesday, 11th July, 2006

The More Things Change...

Friday, 7th July, 2006

Forget the Rum, Try a Cachaça

Friday, 23th June, 2006

An Anniversary Remembered

Tuesday, 13th June, 2006

Irish Trout and Other Monsters

Friday, 2nd June, 2006

Try a Hardy Text and Get a Chardy

Thursday, 11th May, 2006

Enough to Make a Russian Revolt

Tuesday, 18th April 2006

A Day of National Shame

Wednesday, 12th April, 2006

And in the Beginning There Was … Alcohol

Saturday, 8th April, 2006

More Perils of Punting: Assistant Coach on Ice

Thursday, 9th February, 2006

Fox Hunting Lives on in South Australia

Thursday, 9th February, 2006

Wine Drinkers Are Healthier Eaters

Monday, 6th February, 2006

Understatement of the Week?

Thursday, 2nd February, 2006

The Dangers of Betting in Two Player Contests

Monday, 30th January, 2006

Reality Wine Makers

Friday, 27th January, 2006

Forget the Zero, a Proper Coke for the Memory Please

Monday, 16th January, 2006

I'll Have Mine in a Tumbler, Thanks

Wednesday, 4th January, 2006

ODDS & SODS ARCHIVE 2005
Vanilla Beans and Bourbon Casks

Wednesday, 14th December, 2005

Chinese Drinking Marx But Not Eating Him

Thursday, 8th December, 2005

How to Encounter a Glug

Friday, 2nd December, 2005

An Els of a Wine Launch

Wednesday, 30th November, 2005

Wine for Prison Pagans

Monday, 17th October, 2005

Award for Wine Institute and SA University Scientists

Monday, 10th October, 2005

Kill Two Birds With One Egg

Friday, 7th October, 2005

ODDS & SODS ARCHIVE 2004
A Tall Tale and Fishing with Plastics

Sunday, 30th January, 2005

Fishing Lakes Entrance

Friday, 10th December, 2004

Profiting from that home ground advantage

Tuesday, 5th October, 2004

A Short Walk in the Park

Thursday, 1st September, 2004

The Secret of the Golden Perch

The Dreaded Body Fat Chart

The Humble Carp Begins To Boom



©2014 Glug  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy  |   RSS Feed
Liquor Licensing Act 1997: It is an offence to sell or supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years, or to obtain liquor on behalf of a person under the age of 18 years.
All transactions in $AUD. This web site is operated by Glug ABN: 39 733 636 700 Licence No: 51401128